Notable new applications of antibodies for imaging involve genetically extracting the essential molecular recognition properties of an antibody, and in some cases enhancing them by mutation, before protein expression. The classic paradigm of intravenous administration of a labeled antibody to image not only its target but also its metabolism can be improved on. Protocols involving molecular targeting with an engineered unlabeled protein derived from an antibody, followed by capture of a small probe molecule that provides a signal, are being developed to a high level of utility. This is accompanied by new strategies for probe capture such as irreversible binding, incorporation of engineered enzyme active sites, and antibody-ligand systems that generate a signal only upon binding or uptake.
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